Gon Fishin – Email to kin – August 8, 2010

While we now have a fair amount of info on Frank/Gramps but we still don’t know anything concrete about his parents or brother(?).  So I’ve started using the social networking systems to go fishing.  Eventually it will be best for us to set up a family site where the most recent documents and confirmed information is placed and updated.  One of the areas with promise may be the Orphan Trains which transported orphans and indigents from the eastern United States to the west in order to provide needed labour.  Apparently there is a large body of information so if there is anyone in the family that can tackle that area it would be appreciated by all.

I have placed the message set out below on a new group that I created on Facebook [Frank McCallum Finding ancestors & kin Y-DNA E1b1b1c1a1 (E-M136) (E-M34) ]

and also on Ancestry.com [http://boards.ancestry.ca/topics.immigration.depsct/472/mb.ashx] However, it may have ended up in the wrong part of Ancestry.

I’m not sure that I have the optimum set up or test but I will tweak it later.  Only so many hours in the day.

Do you have a Facebook account?  I’m at Ian McCallum and Skype Mcluhan.

Do you have suggestions as to edits, additional key words or other fishing holes where I can place the hook?

The Y-Chromosome information is a long shot but will become of increasing use as more people are tested, their results made public and their family’s migration patterns are geographically plotted and tracked as far back as they can.

Feel free to pass this info along to anyone else in the family who might be interested in it.

It’s a great detective story for a family of thespians and other creative types. 


Frank McCallum Finding ancestors & kin Y-DNA E1b1b1c1a1 (E-M136) (E-M34)

Key Points: We are looking for the parents of our grand father, Frank McCallum, and living family too. Frank was likely born in 1891 or 92, probably in the United States and orphaned before he was 12.  He emigrated, that is walked, from North Dakota to Saskatchewan, Canada around 1902.  He died in 1956 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Much of the social information about him is unconfirmed.  Recent DNA analysis proves that McCallum could not have been the ancestral name. 

We don’t know when or where he was orphaned.  The story that family recall that he provided was that he worked on a farm in North Dakota, left and walked into Saskatchewan, Canada in his early teens, around 1902.  He then worked at Vanscoy near Saskatoon as a farm labourer for Charlie Benolken who had recently emigrated with several other relatives and family members from just west of Minneapolis.  Frank then acquired four parcels of land to farm and simultaneously operated a small general store from his farm, sold insurance and involved himself in other ventures.

Apparently he had a younger brother, name unknown, who Frank last saw in North Dakota.  Later Frank tried finding him but was unsuccessful.  He remembered his father having red hair and his mother black hair.


Haplotype:         E1b1b1c1a1 or E-M136 a sub-clade of E1b1b1c1 (E-M34).   

The DNA analysis proves that our ancestral name is not McCallum.  The global McCallum Y-chromosome is group R; his was group E.  The McCallum name was adopted at some point.  Emigration or adoption would be events when that would occur.  There are all kinds of reasons why someone looking for a name would pick a specific name; but, “Frank McCallum”? Frank is not a typical Scottish name per se, particularly in that era since the name Frank apparently only came into use in the 1700s.  Today there are a number of Frank McCallum’s listed in a Google of today’s Glasgow. 

The modern day geographical locations of the M136 haplotype are not yet meaningfully identified.  The earlier E1b1b1c group seems to have originated in or near to the Jordan Valley of the eastern Mediterranean.  However, distribution of the M34 haplotype also includes northern Spain and Portugal and through the coastal areas of the Mediterranean and into Anatolia and even north East Africa.

Frank’s eldest son deduced from various indicators that Frank may have been Jewish.


Date of Birth:     likely October 27, 1891 or 1892 

Place of Birth:   possibly Detroit or Wayne County, Michigan (cited in numerous homestead registrations, wedding certificate and WWI sign-up documents); but could also be New York, Illinois and Europe.

Alternative McCallum Parentage

Alternative McCallum Parentage – Alternative Names

(from his 1919 Glasgow wedding certificate)

Father: John McCallum, hotel proprietor

Mother: Julia, maiden name Leggat

Alternative McCallum Parentage – Immigrants 1892


Names: Frank McCallum Age 42 (nationality Canadian) & Mrs. McCallum Age 40 (nationality Irish) Both citizens of the USA.

Arrived: Ellis Island, New York Sept 9 1892  from Liverpool

Ship was: The City of New York  

Of the 65 McCallums who landed at Ellis Island, New York between 1892 and 1924 only one was named Frank, arriving Sept 9 1892, who brought no children. 

Coincidence? Quite possibly.  But consider the following: this Frank’s Nationality/Ethnicity is listed as Canada! Very odd. This Frank is also a Citizen of the United States and destination is “Ills” which I assume is an abbreviation for Illinois (Chicago?). Why would Canadian Frank be taking an Irish wife from Liverpool to live in the US instead of Canada?

So what might be the relevance?

·         They could have had a child after arriving in Illinois.

·         They could have “adopted” a child, even one from the boat.  There were deaths during the voyage but I haven’t yet checked the other 1,740 passengers.

·         Our “Frank’s” parent(s) could have met passenger Frank and his wife on the boat and then after landing taken on his name, and naming his son Frank as a tribute or thank you. 

For an eventual orphan Canada could also be a strong, attractive myth of “home”, strong enough to motivate a walk there when he could have walked in any other direction.

Alternative McCallum Parentage (possibly grandparents)

Source: Essex County, Ontario Wedding Records (year)

Father: Frank McCallum

Mother: Julia Vanantwerp / or Van Antwerp

Father: James McCallum

Names Given To children that may be relevant hints:

James, John, Francis, Merle, Neil, Effie.

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